Halesowen Town 4-1 Loughborough Dynamo

Second-placed Halesowen kept up the pressure with a comfortable victory after striking two early goals at the start of each half.

Yeltz manager Paul Smith was happy with the day’s work. “It’s another big three points. We came out of the traps quickly to kill the game in a good first twenty minutes and then also started the second-half like a train.”

Mid-table Loughborough forced two early corners but Halesowen soon made a great start to establish a two-goal lead within the first nine minutes. A volley from Halesowen’s Richard Gregory was tipped over the bar from Kyle Finn’s cross and the resulting 6th minute corner was flicked on for Nat Kelly to turn home at the far post. As the Yeltz kept up their intensity, Simeon Cobourne poked a good chance at Loughborough goalkeeper Ruben Rabstien from the left to earn a 7th minute corner.

The Yeltz made it 2-0 in spectacular fashion in the 9th minute after Cobourne did well down the left and squared the ball for Gregory to side-step his marker on the edge of the penalty area before unleashing a brilliant finish into the top corner. McKauley Manning then fired a 17th minute volley wide and fired over the bar four minutes later.

As the Moes looked to recover, home goalkeeper Dan Platt did well to save low down from Kevin Bastos in the 22nd minute. Visiting goalkeeper Rabstien grabbed Manning’s 29th curling effort before Platt was on hand again to beat away a solid 30th minute strike from Loughborough’s Curtis Burrows. Before the interval Paul McCone’s header was cleared off the Loughborough line and Finn’s 44th minute low shot from the edge of the area drifted inches wide of the post.

Halesowen wrapped up the points with a further two goals early in the second half. Half-time substitute Jack Holmes looked lively and he advanced down the right to fire home a low shot into the bottom corner of the net in the 48th minute. Just two minutes later, Cobourne turned the ball inside for master goal-poacher Gregory to slot away his 13th goal of the season and make it 4-0. With the game effectively over, Holmes flashed a 55th minute shot just wide and goalkeeper Rabstien dived to save from Manning a minute later. Rabstien then kept out another Holmes effort after an hour.

But Halesowen’s copybook was blotted in the 64th minute when Cobourne was shown a straight red card by referee Alan Cox for a challenge on Loughborough’s Roger Lee, much to the surprise of many observers. However, the ten-man Yeltz were easily able to hold onto their lead for the remainder of the game, although the Moes grabbed a consolation goal when defender Carl Sibson’s header deflected into the net off Kelly from a 78th minute corner. Loughborough substitute James Tague then drove just wide.

Halesowen Town: Dan Platt; Rob Evans, Josh Ezewele, Josh Hawker (Ahmed Ali 80), Paul McCone (c), Nat Kelly, Kyle Finn, Bradley Birch (Jack Holmes 46), Simeon Cobourne, Richard Gregory (Michael Taylor 72) , McKauley Manning. Subs Not Used: Lewis Wright, Chris Lait.

Loughborough Dynamo: Ruben Rabstien; Aime Kamdem, Brandon Webster, Robert Norris (c) (Stephen Akbas 75), Carl Sibson, Robbie McNicholas, Kevin Bastos (Kyle Jardine 57), Roger Lee, Alex Steadman, Curtis Burrows, Tristan Matthews (James Tague 57). Subs Not Used: Jason Alexander, Charlie Young.

Referee: Alan Cox Attendance: 1,076

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